Here’s the response I sent. I’m still lurking here, though the traffic has dwindled to almost nothing.
They should be allowed. I’ve been a mountain biker for 20+ years and turned 70 last year. It was something I did at least weekly for many year. Now at my age I am doing it less, but not enjoying it less. I have not gotten one yet, but I am certain an Ebike will extend my riding by many years. I am definitely going to retrofit my mountain bike as an Ebike.
There are classes of Ebike. Riding one that operates with a simple throttle should not be allowed . A regulation prohibiting it should be in place, but it clearly cannot really be enforced. That’s OK. “Pedelec” bikes, those which require pedaling input should be the ones allowed.
A speed limit is not realistic, though it might seem like it. When going downhill, it is natural to exceed the usual 15 mph limit. It is part of mountain biking and it makes no sense to try and take it away.
As a long time mountain biker I am disgusted by the idea of young fit people using Ebikes. But this cannot be prohibited. It can and will be minimized by peer pressure. It is a problem we have to put up with.
Prohibiting Ebikes would be a mistake. It would take millions of people out of the sport prematurely during their lives or prevent those with disabilities from ever enjoying it. The other problems can be managed.